Inaugural meeting of Climate Action Joint Committee held

Horizons Regional Council held their inaugural meeting of the Climate Action Joint Committee on Tuesday, alongside all of the region’s mayors and tangata whenua representatives. 

At the meeting, Horizons’ Chair Rachel Keedwell was appointed as Chair of the Climate Action Joint Committee.
“This committee gives regional leaders the chance to create a genuine and enduring partnership between iwi, central government, and local government – this will be integral to making real change,” Cr Keedwell says.
Tangata whenua representatives will be appointed by the committee based on recommendations from iwi leaders and by considering their skills, attributes, or knowledge that can assist the work of the committee.
Cr Keedwell says that not only is the climate action committee a first for Horizons, this is the first time tangata whenua representatives will be formally appointed to any Horizons committee and have full voting rights.
“The Committee will use scientific evidence and Mātauranga Māori to form and achieve climate change mitigation and adaptation. We will also share information, facilitate collaborative action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for climate change impacts.
“Councils across the region are already actively working on projects that have a direct positive impact on the environment and build resilience to climate change. This includes projects like the Sustainable Land Use Initiative to decrease erosion in hill country, helping to reduce sediment loads in rivers.   
“Horizons is currently seeking feedback on our proposed Long-term Plan. A proposed new dedicated activity for climate change has been included, it aims to respond explicitly to climate change risks and coordinate work across our organisation.   
“The purpose of the activity is to identify risks associated with climate change, ensure the transition to a low-emissions economy where lifestyle is supported and barriers are removed, and communities, councils, and government work together effectively.
“This new activity provides the opportunity to have a dedicated workstream with the direct purpose of adapting to and mitigating climate change effects.”
The Climate Action Joint Committee will meet at least twice per year with the next meeting being in September.